CURRENT & UPCOMING: 2013 and beyond
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Image: Exterior Architecture
CANTERBURY TALES: (Labour Weekend, October 2013) Free Theatre is developing a multi-disciplinary project with FESTA inspired by the carnivalesque character of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, moving between different sites within the inner city and engaging with the performativity of architecture in Christchurch. This event is a follow-up to the popular LUXCITY, which saw thousands of Cantabrians flood the city for one evening in 2012. To learn more about Canterbury Tales please go to this page.
THE SOLDIER'S TALE: (September 2013) Peter Falkenberg has been asked to direct a Christchurch Symphony Orchestra production of Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale for the 2013 Christchurch Arts Festival. Free Theatre members Emma Johnston and George Parker will play the roles of the devil and the soldier respectively. More info here.
PUPPET & MASK WORKSHOPS: (August - October 2013). Every Saturday 11am - 1pm Free Theatre are running Introductory Puppet and Mask Workshops where members of the public can get a taste of working with masks and large scale puppets; collectively developing interactions and movements that will bring them to life. This a great chance to get involved in our upcomming Canterbury Tales production (FESTA 2013), or to just come in and experiment with members of the Free Theatre. These workshops are FREE to the public thanks to Christchurch City Creative Communities. Click here for more information.
FREE THEATRE WORKSHOPS: (Contact us for dates) Free Theatre runs popular workshops for schools based around our training techniques and utilizing the company's expertise in devised theatre. Workshops include exercises in physical theatre techniques, Brechtian theatre, Naturalism and acting for film. Alongside our significant professional experiences on stages around New Zealand, members of the company also teach at secondary and tertiary levels. As part of our touring schedule, we deliver workshops to local schools. If you would like to know more about these workshops either in Christchurch or around New Zealand please contact us.
HEREAFTER TOUR: Unfortunately we have had to cancel our tour to the 2013 Adelaide Fringe. Free Theatre won an award that paid our registration for the event. The plan is to take the production on a North Island tour later in this year and look to get to Adelaide next year. If you would like to know more about the production please go to the Hereafter page.
PROPHET: Free Theatre actor George Parker is working on a solo project, which originally was proposed as part of his PhD thesis on New Zealand solo performance and has developed via a series of Free Theatre productions. The project works with the Enlightenment text Nathan the Wise by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and explores notions of community, drawing on experiences in post-earthquake Christchurch.
FRANKENSTEIN: Initial discussions have emerged regarding a large scale project that takes Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as the central text. Free Theatre members have been involved in teaching a course in the Theatre and Film Studies Department (University of Canterbury) relating to post-enlightenment discourses regarding the body. From this course, a proposal for a project has arisen that might learn from and inform the field of study.
FOOTPRINTS/TAPUWAE (REVIVAL): The company aims to restage this work, which in 2001 was celebrated as a significant achievement in bi-cultural performance. Over the years we have had discussions with our collaborator Tai Huata about remounting the work and we are currently considering a possible tie-in with Te Matatini - the national Kapa Haka competition - which will be held in Christchurch in 2015. To learn more about the original Footprints / Tapuwae production, please go to this page.
FREE THEATRE ARCHIVING / EXHIBITION / BOOK: The origins of this project go back to the '25 years and counting' event which saw current and former Free Theatre collaborators come together in 2008. Over the summer of 2010/2011, a Creative Communities grant allowed us to begin organizing years of collected materials - posters, reviews, photos, films, letters and so on - into a large filing cabinet that has a home at Te Puna Toi (Theatre and Film Studies Department, Canterbury University). We also began the task of digitalising much of the material - a vast array of materials that illustrate the rich and diverse history of this company. The next phase of the project has included the construction of this website with plans for a presentation/exhibition and book in the pipeline. Thanks to Canterbury Community Trust for their assistance with this project. Please go here to see an online version of the archive project.
FREE THEATRE DOCUMENTARY: The archiving project mentioned above was undertaken as the first stage of a documentary film being developed on the Free Theatre by respected New Zealand filmmaker Shirley Horrocks. The documentary will include interviews with current and former members of the Free Theatre. Guests such as Professor Richard Gough who recently worked with Free Theatre on The Earthquake in Chile, will give an international context to the work of Free Theatre. The film will also include footage and interviews relating to recent productions Hereafter and I Sing the Body Electric.